HELENSBURGH’S RNLI lifeboat crew was called out four times in the space of seven days at the end of last month - prompting a reminder to residents to take extra care when out on the water.

The volunteer team based at Rhu Marina responded to a request for assistance from HM Coastguard on Monday, April 26 to help evacuate an injured walker near Dumbarton.

The casualty was in a remote and particularly inaccessible section of the coastal path and low tide prevented the lifeboat getting close to the injured woman.

A member of the lifeboat crew went ashore to help and to enable an air ambulance to land and take the woman to hospital.

Then, on Thursday, April 29, the lifeboat crew was asked to launch to help investigate the activation of an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB), but after a joint search of the upper reaches of the Firth of Clyde which also involved the Largs lifeboat and a coastguard helicopter, nothing was found and the crew was stood down.

The boat returned to the lifeboat station in Rhu for refuelling – but just four minutes after being declared ready for service the boat was launched again, this time after a person was reported to have fallen in the water off Cardwell Bay in Gourock.

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The casualty had been rescued by a person on an adjacent boat, but needed immediate medical help, and the RNLI crew transferred them to the lifeboat and took them ashore to a waiting ambulance.

Finally, on Sunday lunchtime the lifeboat was called out to help two people on board a boat just outside James Watt Dock in Greenock.

The boat had lost power and was drifting towards the rocks before the crew towed it into the dock and returned to the station.

Howard Morrison, lifeboat operations manager at the Helensburgh RNLI station said: “We have seen an increase in the number of shouts since the easing of lockdown.

“This is largely because more people are returning to the coast and the water.

“We urge people to stay safe, check their equipment and wear a lifejacket if they are taking part in activities on the water.”